BETHPAGE, N.Y., Oct. 30, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation's (NYSE:NOC) Bethpage operation has achieved a Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI(r)) Level 5 rating in all four CMMI(r) disciplines.

This rating tells customers that a company's standards of process performance and quality in systems engineering, software engineering, integrated product and process development and supplier sourcing are the best possible and are continuously improving.

Determined by an independent evaluation company, the rating places the Bethpage site, the headquarters of the company's Airborne Early Warning and Electronic Warfare Systems business unit, in the top 2 percent of 849 organizations assessed by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI). SEI, which is part of the Carnegie Mellon University, sets the parameters for the CMMI(r) level ratings. CMMI(r) is a process improvement approach that provides organizations with the essential elements of effective processes. Bethpage is the second company site to achieve this level of performance; the first was the Melbourne, Florida operations.

"The success of achieving CMMI(r) Level 5 at our Bethpage operation verifies our commitment to be a process-based organization, and the appraisal was demonstrated on our largest, most important programs, including the E-2D Advanced Hawkeye and EA-18G Growler," said Duke Dufresne, vice president of Airborne Early Warning and Electronic Warfare Systems for Northrop Grumman's Integrated System sector. "Being at CMMI(r) Level 5 tells our customers that our products are consistent and that we are constantly looking to improve our processes and product quality in current and future programs."

"Getting to Level 5 was the result of our philosophy of collaboration between the integrated product teams that design our products and the functional departments that design our processes," said Bob Klein, vice president of Engineering, Logistics & Technology. "The strong foundation of Level 3 processes appraised in December 2005, as well as the simultaneous development of the Level 4 and 5 program, allowed the rapid rise from Level 3 to Level 5 in just nine months, and we will continue our commitment of process improvement and predictability for customer products."

"The organization's storyboard approach to Level 5 is what I consider an industry best practice," said Andreas Felschow, external lead appraiser for The Process Company, which evaluated the Bethpage site, and an SEI partner. "In addition, I have never seen such comprehensiveness demonstrated against the 485 CMMI(r) practices both in documentation and artifacts."

The Process Company, LLC, an external organization independent of Northrop Grumman, conducted the appraisal in accordance with the formal Standard CMMI(r) Appraisal Method for Process Improvement (SCAMPI(tm)) methodology.

The CMMI(r) project is a collaborative effort with participation by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the military services and other government agencies, industry through the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) Systems Engineering Committee, and the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) of Carnegie Mellon. The institute's core purpose is to help others make measured improvements in their product development capabilities.

The CMMI(r) standard was developed by a coalition of industry, government and the Software Engineering Institute to objectively assess the full range of an organization's software and systems engineering, product development, program management and organizational management capabilities. There are five levels of CMMI(r) maturity, each a layer in the foundation for ongoing process improvement, designated by the numbers one through five with five being the highest. Higher maturity levels signify lower risks to successful program execution.

Bethpage's achievement marks Northrop Grumman's 28th CMMI(r) Level 5 rating, the highest possible rating for benchmarking commercial and defense industry best practices for management and engineering. The company has earned more CMMI Level 5 ratings than any other defense or commercial company to date.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global defense company headquartered in Los Angeles, Calif. Northrop Grumman provides technologically advanced, innovative products, services and solutions in systems integration, defense electronics, information technology, advanced aircraft, shipbuilding and space technology. With more than 120,000 employees and operations in all 50 states and 25 countries, Northrop Grumman serves U.S. and international military, government and commercial customers.

Capability Maturity Model Integration and CMMI(r) are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by Carnegie Mellon University.

  CONTACT:  John Vosilla
          Northrop Grumman Integrated Systems
          (516) 575-5119
          john.vosilla@ngc.com